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Game-Changers Tour stops at Ryerson University to rally young voters

The Council of Canadians Game-Changers campaign was at Ryerson University in Toronto earlier this week.

Council of Canadians Youth Vote campaigner Brigette DePape tells us, "We had a mix of young workers, students, and community members. There were people from student groups like Sustainable Ryerson and the Ryerson Students' Union. A huge thank you to our Toronto-based organizers Ailish Morgan, who did a fantastic job emceeing and leading the group facilitators, and Mark Calzavara for organizing, taking photos and for making the world's biggest Go Vote sign!"

NOW Magazine reports, "Voting by 18- to 24-year-olds in the past four federal elections fell below 40 per cent, only breaching that mark in 2006 when 43.8 percent of eligible youth hit the polls, according to statistics from Elections Canada. During the most recent election in 2011, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party earned a majority government with only 6,201 votes in 14 key ridings, about 1. 8 million voters in this coveted demographic stayed home. That's why 25-year-old Brigette DePape, an activist with the Council of Canadians, is working to mobilize young voters."

DePape says, "Our goal is to ensure that we see a government that better reflects our values. We believe that the current conservative government is not respecting our values, is not responding to youth priorities like tuition fees and youth unemployment and we want to see a government that does. So we want to see a change."

The article further explains, "The activist has been visiting areas near key ridings with high youth populations to foster a power base of young leaders and gain 10,000 vote pledges. As the election nears, youth leaders will mobilize, spreading information about the location of polling stations, coordinating group votes and canvassing."

On Tuesday morning, DePape was also interviewed on the CTV breakfast television program, Canada AM. That report noted, "More than three years after DePape became a household name, she is on a mission to encourage young people to better engage in politics. She's part of the 2015 Game-Changers Tour, which calls on Canadian youth to vote in the next federal election. ...The Game-Changers tour has also launched a funding campaign, with hopes of raising $50,000 to travel across Canada to connect with a million young voters and provide them with election resources. DePape said a donor -- she did not specify who -- will match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. So far, the group has raised nearly $8,000."

To watch the interview with DePape on Canada AM, please click here.

The event at Ryerson University was the fourth stop in the Game-Changers Tour, a series of events and trainings across the country. The first three visits in this tour were at the University of Winnipeg on February 25-26, the University of Regina on March 5-6 and Simon Fraser University on March 23-24. Brigette will be at Nipissing University in North Bay on March 30 and our Halifax-based Atlantic organizer Tori Ball will be at the event in Mahone Bay on April 26.

If you are a young person, click here to sign our online "I will vote" pledge.

For more on our Election 2015 campaign, please click here.

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